Trattoria Saporito a winner with simple, robust food

Trattoria Saporito 328 Washington St., Hoboken. 533-1801

Open daily. Lunch served Monday to Friday noon to 4 p.m.;
Dinner servered Monday to Thursday from 4:30 to 11p.m. to midnight;
Sunday from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. B.Y.O.B.
Reservations not accepted
Credit Cards: MasterCard, Visa, and Amex.

We werenít expecting anything out of the ordinary in our first-time visit to Trattoria Saporito, a newly opened Italian restaurant on Hobokenís Washington street, Thinking it would be just another expensive, trendy eatery catering to the jaded palates of Hoboken. What a surprise to discover that this latest addition to the dining scene is actually a welcome addition. Authentic, inexpensive and old-world in the best sense of the phrase. Owned and operated by the Clemente Gastone Ernesto ino family

  • their commercial bakery is their flagship business
  • Trattoria Saporito is designed as a casual, neighborhood eatery specializing in southern italian cuisine.

Here you'll find the real thng. terra-cotta floors evoke the charm of the Old World, as does a soundwaiters. There's a first-come, first served policy in practise, so forget about reservations. Tables are at a premium in this cheerily bright dining room ars of pasta with simmered cauliflower and generous chunks of the meaty Italian bacon, known as pancetta. For tomato lovers, a variety of rich flavorful ragu-sauces grace the likes of rigatoni with fresh mozzarella ( the deliciously moist mozzarella is made on the premises ) or the bucatini ( a hollowed-out spaghetti ) served with the thinnest of fried eggplant. ( Pasta dishes range from $8.95 to $12.95 ). Seafood pasta combinations also abound. The linguini in red clam sauce is served in a light tomato broth infused with the aroma of fresh baby clams, which are piled on top.

The papperdelle, wide ribbonedged bands, is smothered in a cream-based tomato sauce, the setting for some from very sweet-tasting langostina ( imported Italian lobsters ). Some, but not, all of the pasta is homemade. In that category fall the fettuccine, the gnocchi ( potato dumplings ) and the pappardelle. Individual meat and seafood dishes are not nearly as plentiful as the pasta dishes, but do reflect the same eartht style cuisine. The beef and veal category include veal parmigiana, veal chop, two varieties of fillet of beef - either in a pizzaolo or a balsamic vinegar sauce - and an Italian send-up of T-bone steak. In addition to the chicken Marsala and a type of chicken Milanese, is an especially hearty chicken cacciatora. Pieces of braised chicken on the bone are lathered in a fresh-tasting, thick tomato sauce with

jusy yhe slight-est edge of sweetness. ( non-pasta entrees range from $11.75 to $16.95.) Appetizers are as excellent as the pastas and entrees. Recommendations include the fried xalamari . Rings of lightly floured-dusted squid are quickly deep-fried to a light golden crunch ( $ 6.75 ). The fried eggplant is excellent, a departure from the thick, breadcrumb-drenched eggplant often served. Saporito's version offers thin slices of mandolin-shaped eggplant lightly sauteed sans breadcrumbs than topped with a shaved, hard-textured ricotta, called salata. appetizers range from $ 4.75 to $ 7. ) Except for the tiramisu, a sinfully rich square of kake and cream, all other dessert bear a commercial quality.

By S&M Kilnisan